Carbon Removal versus Carbon Capture

From Open Risk Manual


Carbon Removal versus Carbon Capture captures two distinct mitigation pathways in addition to the reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions.[1]

Carbon removal is the process of removing greenhouse gases that are already in the atmosphere, through natural solutions such as reforestation and soil management or technological solutions like direct air capture and enhanced mineralization. Carbon removal is not a substitute for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, but it can slow down climate change and is necessary to shorten any period during which we temporarily overshoot our climate targets.

Carbon capture and storage is the process of trapping carbon emissions produced by fossil fuel power plants or other industrial processes before they can enter our atmosphere by storing them deep underground. Carbon capture and storage should not be seen as an alternative to the green energy transition, but it has been proposed as a way to tackle emissions from sectors that are difficult to decarbonize, particularly heavy industries like cement, steel, and chemicals.

However, these technologies are only in the early development stage and will require carefully-designed policies. Dramatically slashing greenhouse gas emissions must remain the top priority to combat the climate crisis.